SAN FRANCISCO – The unproven kid thoroughly beat the former Super Bowl champion and reigning MVP. With a strong arm that allowed him to pick the Packers apart from the pocket and speedy legs that helped him break free for big gains, Colin Kaepernick did a little bit of everything in a record-setting, sensational playoff debut – and Aaron Rodgers just couldn’t keep up.
STANFORD, Calif. – Swarmed by three defenders for much of the day, Chiney Ogwumike released the ball off-balance or just plain forced it up to try to somehow get No. 1 Stanford going. Not much worked. Frustration mounted on both ends of the floor. Connecticut dominated on a home court the Cardinal have ruled year after year.
BERKELEY, Calif. – For two years, Tierra Rogers cried herself to sleep each night as California’s basketball team moved forward without her. Still grieving 20 months after her father was murdered during one of her high school games, Rogers’ career got cut short before it began. A top recruit, the highly touted freshman guard collapsed and stopped breathing in a seriously close call outside the Cal training room.
SAN FRANCISCO – Strong-armed fill-in Colin Kaepernick made all the right throws, looking every bit a capable NFL No. 1 quarterback. Kaepernick passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start in place of the injured Alex Smith, and the San Francisco 49ers whipped the Chicago Bears 32-7 on Monday night in a highly touted NFC showdown that hardly lived up to the hype.
SAN FRANCISCO – From postseason bystander to starting the World Series opener. That’s how far Barry Zito has come in two years to resurrect his career. The resurgent left-hander will pitch Game 1 for the San Francisco Giants tonight against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers.
SAN FRANCISCO – Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants saved their season once more, pushing St. Louis to a winner-take-all Game 7 in the National League Championship Series. Turns out the defending champion Cardinals aren’t the only team that’s tough to put away in October.
SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants sure are tough to eliminate this postseason. Barry Zito and the Giants gave themselves at least one more game in the National League Championship Series with a 5-0 victory Friday in St. Louis that forced today’s Game 6 back at AT&T Park.
SAN FRANCISCO – Ahead by a lot or behind by a bunch, these St. Louis Cardinals are winning every which way. Boosted by two-run homers from proven postseason stars Carlos Beltran and David Freese, and 5 1/3 innings from a steady bullpen, these wild, wild-card Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 6-4 on Sunday night in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.
OAKLAND, Calif. – Already an ace and MVP, Justin Verlander proved to be the Detroit Tigers’ ultimate closer, too. Verlander struck out 11 in a four-hitter, pitching Detroit into a second straight A.L. championship series – a day after Jose Valverde failed to hold a ninth-inning lead – with a 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the decisive Game 5 of their division series Thursday night.
OAKLAND, Calif. – These Oakland Athletics never count themselves out – down and doubted is their dogma. Brett Anderson outdueled fellow postseason first-timer Anibal Sanchez and the upstart A’s were stellar on defense all over the diamond, avoiding another playoff sweep by Detroit by beating the Tigers 2-0 Tuesday night in their A.L. division series.
OAKLAND, Calif. – The Seattle Mariners watched Oakland make a playoff push with a pair of dramatic weekend wins. So close sometimes, these Mariners. They missed chances in the early innings, just as they did all series in being swept.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Randy Moss is prepared for cheers, he’s prepared for boos. He is embracing all the hype surrounding his return to Minnesota, where his illustrious NFL career began 14 years ago. Moss is headed back to the Metrodome on Sunday in his No. 84 jersey for the San Francisco 49ers, eager to step onto the very field where he played some of his best games in seven-plus seasons with the Vikings and leave one final impression. Especially after his short, rocky stint back with the team in 2010 didn’t go quite as planned.
LONDON – With or without gold, Misty May-Treanor plans to walk away from beach volleyball for good after the Olympics. A third straight championship would make the farewell perfect. May-Treanor and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings will go for one last title together tonight after winning all but one set during their three Olympics as a pair.
LONDON – Gabby Douglas is back for her grand finale. Already a two-time gold medalist, the American teen nicknamed the Flying Squirrel has a chance for one more title before she leaves the London Games, competing today on the balance beam.
There will be mania among the picnickers on Murray Mount, and a proud contingent of Brits far rowdier than those strawberries-and-cream-eating tennis fans at a typical Wimbledon championship today. Andy Murray gets a do-over at the All England Club – a month after losing to the man who dominates on the very same Centre Court grass. It’s a Roger Federer-Murray rematch for Olympic gold.
SAN FRANCISCO – Melky Cabrera is a new marketing phenomenon: “Got Melk?” He is piling up nicknames nearly as quickly as he is piling up hits. Melk Man. Melky Way. And the old standby from his Yankees days, Leche – milk in Spanish.
SAN FRANCISCO – Ernie Bowman received his devastating diagnosis last summer: Stage IV prostate cancer with a prognosis of two months to live. Doctors asked the former Giants infielder whether he even wanted to undergo treatment or just let things take their course.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Kyle Williams is ignoring the barrage of hateful, hurtful, even threatening comments he has received via social media in the aftermath of his ill-timed fumble that cost the San Francisco 49ers the NFC championship game against New York. Williams said Monday he takes full responsibility for his fumble on a punt return in overtime of a 20-17 loss to the Giants on Sunday night that set up Lawrence Tynes’ winning field goal, calling the moment “painful.”
SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants boasted a physical, intimidating defense with athletic linebackers and stout linemen capable of stifling the NFL’s most productive offenses. San Francisco featured a high-powered passing attack led by an eventual Hall of Fame quarterback in his prime with receivers capable of turning short passes into big gains. When the San Francisco 49ers host the New York Giants in the NFC championship game today for a shot at the Super Bowl, the matchup conjures memories from a previous era of this great rivalry – even if the roles are somewhat reversed.
SAN FRANCISCO – In one triumphant afternoon, playoff first-timer Alex Smith joined a pair of 49ers Hall of Fame quarterbacks with his own indelible postseason moment. Joe Montana had “The Catch.” Steve Young had “The Catch II.” Now, Smith added another epic play to the 49ers’ storied history: “The Grab.”
SAN FRANCISCO – Monday Night Football nearly became a Monday Night Fiasco. San Francisco’s lights-out return to prime time helped salvage what could have been an embarrassing evening for everyone involved on the NFL’s biggest stage after a pair of power outages delayed the game for close to 35 minutes in all.
OAKLAND, Calif. – Klay Thompson had felt a little bit more like Golden State’s team manager lately than a first-round pick. The determined rookie hardly expected his early days in the NBA to be spent observing from the sidelines as his teammates worked under new Warriors coach Mark Jackson.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Jack Harbaugh has watched his sons go at it for nearly five decades. From pounding football games on their bedroom floor to timed races up the stairs from the basement and many, many bumps and bruises in between.